Halfway through the 2013 football season, the draft-stock ticker is rising and falling week by week, prospect by prospect. For some, it’s been a rough season on their draft ticker (like former Oregon TE Colt Lyerla). For others, this season has been more fortunate, like Ole Miss Rebels free safety Cody Prewitt, who’s never seen his draft stock as high as it currently is.
Prewitt (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) entered the season on some Honorable Mention All-SEC watch lists, and that was largely it. Eight games in, however, Prewitt is not only a favorite for First Team All-SEC, but he’s now one of 15 players who have been named a Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist, an award given at the end of the season to the top defensive back nationwide. Not too shabby.
It’s easy to see why Prewitt has been named a semifinalist and why his draft stock has been skyrocketing. So far in 2013, Prewitt leads the Rebels in interceptions (four, most in the SEC and sixth nationally), PBUs (nine), forced fumbles (two) and his 48 tackles are good for second on the team.
So, where does Prewitt rank on the big board of free safeties? Right now I’d put him in the 6-to-7 range, putting him right around the fourth- or fifth-round projection. He’s just above Mississippi State FS Nickoe Whitley, who began the season as the best safety in the state, and a potential All-American, but has endured some less-than-stellar outings in recent weeks (the Kentucky game comes to mind).
Another thing to consider is that Prewitt’s performances in the coming weeks should continue to be strong, especially considering the Rebels schedule. Arkansas has an atrocious passing attack, Troy passes all the time (not necessarily successfully), so Prewitt will have ample opportunities to build on his INTs, and Mississippi State has a mediocre passing game at best. Missouri will be the last big test for Prewitt on the schedule, facing the likes of L’Damian Washington and Dorial Green-Beckham, two guys who can really take the top off the defense.
All in all, I expect Prewitt to continue padding his stats this season and should be named on various All-SEC and All-American lists. But will he declare early? After all, he’s only a junior, and still has another year of eligibility.
The talent in this year’s class of FS’s isn’t overwhelming, but it’s strong at the top with Hasean Clinton-Dix (Alabama) and Lamarcus Joyner (Florida State). Prewitt, at the pace he’s going, could very well jump to third on this list before it’s all said and done. If that’s the case, he’ll probably leave.
One way or another, he’ll be checking with the NFL Draft Advisory Board about his potential draft placement.